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Is your child an avid chewer? Does he / she chew on his hands or knuckles? Or go through several shirts a day? If so, there are several things you can do to meet this oral sensory need. The first step is to offer a safe alternative for chewing. The products listed below are all medical grade oral motor chew tools that provide safe sensory input to the lips, tongue, cheeks, and especially the jaw. Their long extensions mean you can reach all the way to the back molars, which is where we do the most chewing and where your children are likely craving the most input. Each time your child reaches for an inappropriate item to chew on, replace it with one of the following tools. Be consistent and patient.
In this category, we've pre-selected our toughest chews for you. Our term XXT stands for "Xtra Xtra Tough" - recommended for avid chewers, for individuals who exert more jaw pressure, and/or for those who prefer to chew on very firm items:
Please note that providing a safe outlet for chewing may not be the only thing your child needs. Doing gum massage on a regular basis, for instance, can be very beneficial to provide proprioceptive input to all areas of the mouth. Adding harder-to-chew foods to the diet may help as well. Figuring out why they need to chew can be helpful (is something in his/her life causing extra stress/anxiety that can be decreased or managed?). And lastly, consult with an occupational therapist (OT) to see if what's called a "sensory diet" of activities will help calm / regulate their sensory system.